When planning is unbelief

Faith & Inspiration

I am contemplating a big move, and I am thinking it through thoroughly, leaving nothing to chance. I am conceiving of every potential disaster and suffering that this may involve-heartbreak, fear, rejection. I have theories about long-term outcomes of things. Nobody has more theories about life and human behavior than I do.

I told my friend my concerns about this big move, and he said to me: "If there is a possible negative aspect to a situation, you will find it." In case you didn't notice, that was not a compliment. He was not commending me for a fine, analytical, perceptive, and far-seeing mind.

It is a good thing to plan ahead. It is a good thing to not rush into big moves but to count the costs. Jesus said so himself: "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go," said one hasty would-be disciple. Jesus had him stop for five minutes and think about whether he was really up for the peripatetic lifestyle Jesus was living (Matthew 8:18-22).

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Another time, Jesus preemptively told a crowd that if they wanted to be with Him, they had to be willing (if it came to that) to leave their own families (Luke 14:26). He made this analogy: "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?" (v.28).

But my friend who was getting an earful of my prognostications knew that this healthy and sober reckoning was not what I was engaging in. He quizzed me something like this: "Where is the childlikeness? Where is the trust in God as your loving Father? Do you think that God expects you to have everything figured out? Do you think that only the savvy make out well in this life? Isn't it the opposite? Didn't Jesus show a preference for children? Andrée, you may find that your over-analyzing everything comes more from unbelief than wisdom."

Later I read this from Jonathan Edwards, the man regarded by many as the greatest American theologian:

"I very often think with sweetness, and longings, and pantings of soul, of being a little child, taking hold of Christ, to be led by him through the wilderness of this world. That text, Matthew 18:3, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, etc. I love to think of coming to Christ, to receive salvation of him, poor in spirit, and quite empty of self . . . and to live by faith on the Son of God, a life of humble, unfeigned confidence in him" (The Works of President Edwards).

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.


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